31 January 2014

Workaholism: Death Becomes Her

I have mentioned recently that I love my job. Sure, who doesn't? Wait. What?

So, here's the real deal: I do like what I do. I market and sell wines, from the reasonably priced to the "there-goes-my-kids'-college-fund" level, seven days a week. Yes, seven goddamned days a week.

Last weekend, from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening, I worked a grand total of 40 hours, most of it on my feet pouring wine for people too intoxicated to articulate what they even seek in their booze. (I did have the great good fortune of doing so side-by-side with some of my best friends, so that is definitely a plus!)

Last night, I was working at 10:30 p.m., and woke up to be back in front of my computer at 7:30 a.m. today. I'm taking the time right now when I should ostensibly be showering to whine on my pin-hole blog. Whatever. Showers are for losers.

When Adam asked me what I wanted for my birthday from him, I said I had no idea. He mentioned work-related paraphernalia (a great leather messenger bag, for instance). And while I really, really want one for work, I was disheartened that all anyone can think of to give me is work-related: work clothes, nice shoes, sweet pens, notebooks, attache cases, etc. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good Staples shopping spree (like way more than should be considered healthy), but, as Adam pointed out before he left for work, "people can only think of work stuff for you because it's all you do. We need to get you a hobby."

This wasn't an insult on his part, simply an observation. In the three months I've been working for my company, my job has consumed me. I cannot imagine what I sound like when socializing. Wine, wine, wine. ALL THE FUCKING TIME. They must be so sick of it, but I can't stop. I am becoming incapable of thinking about anything other than my work, which is so not like me. In fact, heretofore, I've rather resented anyone and everyone for whom I have labored. (Except the goat farm; you can't hate on a goat farm or farmer.)

I'm not sleeping, I'm not eating, and 99% of what I do while vertical is work. The other 1% is drink wine. I don't sleep because I can't shut off my brain. If I'm working on sales, I'm thinking about marketing. If I'm trying to work on marketing, I'm half-consciously planning my next sales meeting. And by the time I get to bed, whichever topic received the least attention keeps rattling around in my head into the wee hours. The eating thing is one part laziness and one part timing. I'm so tired and inundated with work that it's actually too much effort to cook something or even go to the grocery store. My schedule demands that I'm on the road for sales most often in the middle of the day, and I try to cram so many sales calls in that the first thing struck from my agenda is lunch.

When I actually go into the office, which is 90 minutes away in no traffic, my boss doesn't seem to register on the food scale, either. As we share an office, I often just keep working alongside him until it's late and his wife calls and yells at him to come home for dinner. Then I trundle myself off back home, where I sit back down in my home office and complete whatever I was working on.

I don't even shut off thinking about wine long enough to write something unrelated to it. My last two blog posts were all about wine and wine glasses! I'm a broken record of incredibly shallow depths.

The truth is, I'm afraid that if I continue at this breakneck pace, I'll burn out completely.

One worry, though, one haunting half-thought at the back of my mind is that I'm throwing myself into this job so completely because I see this as my last chance to really nail down my professional self. I've burned so many bridges in my 29 years that if I can't make this work, I fear I"ll be relegated to working as a temp for the rest of my existence, and we all know how well that went. And worse still, I'll be thirty (30!!) in two days; yes, the Super Bowl is actually in celebration of my birthday (and the birthday of two of my awesome family members who know who they are). I thought by 30, I'd have at least a little bit figured out, but really, my biggest accomplishment in this past year was not throwing myself out of the fifth floor of an insurance hell-hole. (There's a reason those windows are soldered shut, you know.)


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